tv BBC World News America PBS July 22, 2011 2:30pm-3:00pm PDT
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>> this is "bbc world news america." reporting from washington, i'm laura trevelyan. twin attacks in oslo. bombs were to government building, while a gun andman -- a gun man leaves at least 10 dead. and breaking up is hard to do, why some gay couples are finding it impossible to obtain a divorce. welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and also of around the globe.
norway has not seen violence like this since the second world war. tonight, the country is reeling. first came a huge explosion in the capital of oslo, killing at least seven and leaving many more injured when a bomb ripped through government buildings, including the price ministers office. then in an attack police say was a white man dressed as a policeman, he opened fire at a youth camp, killing at least 10. ç@b5bçñçóçççç, the bomb in the city center sending chaos. police race to clear the streets. office, oilnister's ministry, and headquarters for the newspaper were among the -- among the buildings hit. >> we were at a cafe a block away and it felt like the building with a fall down over
us. it was it out explosion and we ran out onto the street. and we saw all of the buildings surrounding the main building were totally written to -- totally ruined. there was glass all over the street and people line there bleeding. i was scared. >> then away from oslo, reports of a shooting at an island summer camp for use members of the ruling labor party -- youth members of the ruling labor party. several people are reported to be dead. police have arrested one man. police believe the attacks are linked. it is not clear who carried them out. the country's involvement in the war and afghanistan has made it the focus of al qaeda threat
in the past. >> on the surface it is a very unusual target. al qaeda is trying to hit softer, more powerful role targets other than america and britain. >> tonight, soldiers are on the streets of oslo and norway's government is holding crisis meetings. there is shock that the city's peace could be shattered like this. >> and just a brief time ago, president obama spoke about these attacks with the new zealand -- with new zealand's prime minister. >> i want to personally extend my condolences to the people of norway, and it is a reminder that the entire international community has a stake in preventing this kind of terror. we have to work cooperatively both on intelligence and in terms of prevention.
>> joining me now to discuss the motivation of who might have been behind the attacks as the former u.s. deputy national security adviser who is currently at the center for strategic and international studies. thank you for joining us. >> my pleasure. >> why would note -- norway bbea target for attacks? >> it is a peaceful country, but it has become more and more a target for global jihadists. norway since the days of 2001, 2002 they have been part of a isaf. they were wrapped up in the norwegian comic crisis.
and just last summer we had three individuals from outside ,f planning taattacks in norway including chinese targets. there are elements of society there that have become more radicalized in the past few years. >> police are saying that they think these two attacks were linked what do you think? >> so far, we do not know for sure that they are living. -- that they are linked to. it is not clear, frankly, who is behind this. it did was ag hottie -- a jihadist group, then what you start to see is the blending of tactics. it starts to be a harbinger of a different style attack, hageman
by -- a mumbai-type attack. >> how prepared would norway have been for an attack like this? >> norwegian security services have been aware of potential security threats and have been looking at potential plots. the arrests last summer were the result of the year-long investigation. the question about whether that society is prepared with the type of security measures that it may need, it may not be that the scandinavian country is actually ready for this. >> how long would it take to plan and mount an attack like this? >> it is interesting because some of the group's that our internal in norway would have difficulty planning this in the short term. i think we would have to wait to see who is responsible. these coordinated attacks take a
bit of planning and, perhaps, some extra oil expertise. -- m external expertise. >> for the latest on the events coming out of norway and the confirmed death of 10 people at the youth camp, i am joined by a journalist with the norwegian state broadcaster. what more can you tell us about the attacks on a summer camp? >> these are unconfirmed reports coming out that the shooter may be one of several shooters in this youth camp. they spoke perfect norwegian, has blond hair, and seemed like a scandinavian. that information goes directly against everything that we
believed of to now, that it was foreign terror organizations. >> do you have any idea how many people might have died at the camp? >> we have unconfirmed reports about several more. at least 10 people are confirmed of two now. eight are in very bad condition and were brought to hospital. and there are bodies floating in the water. the exact number we do not know. we know it will increase. that is all we know at this time. >> what is the mood in norway as people buy just this attack? >> it is absolutely shocking for norwegians. we have been several times
threatened by terror organizations because we are involved in afghanistan, and the bombing in libya. and we have been involved in several peace agreement that not everybody is satisfied with. but we did not believe anything like this would happen. certainly, everyone had been training for what they would do if there was a terrorist attack, but something like this, no. i have seen last sites before and this is really, really big. and the fact that it can have so much for the nation behind it is quite unbelievable. -- coordination behind it is quite unbelievable. >> al-shabab says there is no famine in the country and accuses the u.n. of examined -- a guy during the drive for political reasons.
aid agencies remain in place. caroline hawley reports. you may find some of these images distressing. >> the refugee camps in kenya. the body of a charm lies next to those still struggling for life. -- of a child lies next to those still struggling for life. a combination of war and drought has created a devastating emergency, displacing huge numbers of somalis with in their own country, too. the capital, mogadishu, is not safe. it is still a magnet for people in need. >> she is 80 years old and she is taking care of five children. she is the grandmother. the father and mother died because of disease. >> the hardline islamic group al-shabab has links to al qaeda
and is fighting the western government of somalia. the government is in control of olli the center of the capital. is these areas where somalis are starving to death. al-shabab has made clear it will continue the activities -- to disrupt the activities of agencies. >> agencies we band before are still banned. some were involved in political activity. others were destroying the lives of our people and we had to ban them too. the last u.n. said -- a u.n. report says there is famine in somalia. we say this is 100% baseless and sheer propaganda.
>> the u.n. and the international community face a mammoth challenge. >> it is very dangerous and risky, but we have to reach people. they are not making it all the way to mogadishu. these other ones lucky enough to make a year and these centers are overrun. >> in northeastern kenya, they need food aid simply to survive. but it is the conflict in somalia that has created the famine that is the worst in decades. >> for more on the challenges in getting aid to those who need it most in somalia, i am joined by the project director at the international crisis group. it might seem like a paradox. why is al-shabab ordering aid agencies out of areas where people are starving? >> al-shabab made the argument
in 2008 that humanitarian agencies were actually disturbing the food market in southern somalia and making the argument that they were does incentivizing -- dis incentivizing the farmers from growing their own food. the argument was to make the farmers or their own food and for some humanitarian aid agencies out. now they are stuck in a paradox because they have pushed the aid agencies out and they are stuck with famine. >> isn't that a backlash from the people if they are allowing them to starve to death? >> they certainly do have that. al-shabab is not a unified organization. there are competing camps within the group. some are very conservative and jihadist in some sense and others are much more pragmatic
and are much more concerned about the corporate concerns. those are the groups that are feeding the calls from their populations saying that they need the agencies to come back because their people are dying. >> there is a moral imperative to get food to the starving, but how risky is that? >> it is extremely risky, of course. if these groups do not want world food program or other aid agencies to operate there, they cannot. it would be too dangerous. that said, there are other elements within al-shabab that do want it. if they are willing to give assurances that the world food program and other agencies can operate there safely, they can give those assurances. and it is worthwhile for them to go there and help these people. >> 800,000 children could die
from starvation. how much is due to drought and how much from civil war? >> the short answer is that it is a combination. the reality is that there is a drop in the entire subregion. but the famine is only in somalia were there has been fighting. i think is quite obvious that the insecurity that has been caused by two decades of fighting has led to these conditions where famine is likely to occur. i should mention to your listeners and watchers that is quite likely that all of somalia will be in famine conditions by the end of september. >> thank you for that sobering analysis. sunday, more than 800 same-sex couples will officially tied the knot in new york as the state becomes the latest to recognize gay marriage. some couples who have treated the same path and other places are now finding that getting a
divorce is the biggest hurdle. lesbianhe story of one couple who are now fighting to end their union. cuts jessica got married three years ago. -- >> the jessica got married three years ago. now she wants a divorce. >> we were like a lot of young couples, very much in love, but we got to a point where we realized we wanted very different things in life. >> jessica and her partner had to travel to california to get married. the problem now is that jessica lives in the state of maryland where gay marriage is not recognized or legal, so she is not able to get a divorce. >> it is a very emotional thing. breakups are very challenging to begin with and then having to go through the legal troubles of being denied. we are both on the same page and have both signed off on
everything and we were ready to move forward. to be told that you are not able to emotionally and move forward and financially be able to protect yourself is hard. >> it has not yet gone be necessary political support. but the state attorney general in maryland has written a paper saying that merriman should recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. if that were to happen, this couple would be able to divorce. the governor believes his position on gay marriage will affect the wider issues. >> allowing divorce will be the step in the right direction toward breaking down the wall against same-sex marriage in maryland. toafter york's decision legalize gay marriage -- after new york's decision to legalize
gay marriage, other states may soon follow suit. in the meantime, others are stuck in limbo. just cannot get married or divorced in your home state of maryland. but she lived just a walk away in washington d.c., who writes would be very different. >> you are watching bbc world news america. still to come, more on our top stories. the attacks in norway that have left of the seven people dead and check -- shaken the capitol to the court. feeling the heat, it is an expression that is true for millions of americans this week. here is more on the summer scorcher that has many seeking relief. >> scorching heat is drifting across the united states. i around the country, people are turning on fire hydrants in an
effort to cool down. elsewhere, there is no despite. by midmorning, baggage handlers at chicago's main airport were experiencing temperatures more than 110 degrees fahrenheit, or 44 degrees centigrade. >> you have to drink a lot of fluids and find shade. >> the national weather service has issued warnings across 29 states. in some areas, the record temperatures have had tragic consequences. officials say at least 22 people died from heat-related illnesses in recent days, including 13 in missouri and three in kansas. there has been a dramatic rise in the number of emergency call out. >> people are feeling tired, nauseated, vomiting. people are coming in with elevated temperatures and alterations in mental status.
>> already there have been scattered power cuts caused by a surge in the use of air- conditioning. it is similar to that which settled over chicago in 1995. then, more than 700 people died over a three-day time frame. authorities now fear more lives could be lost in the coming days. with temperatures not expected to drop until sunday, millions of people in the u.s. are looking for ways to beat the heat. bbc news, washington. >> in other news, hundreds of thousands of syrians are reported to have been taking part in anti-government rallies and defying security source -- security forces. activists say people have been killed. security forces have opened fire and used tear gas in
several other areas. the last fugitive indicted for war crimes during the breakup of the former yugoslavia has arrived at a detention facility in the netherlands after he was extradited from serbia. he was the wartime leader of ethnic serbs in eastern croatia and faces charges against humanity. with the deadline for default just 11 days away in the u.s., president obama has insisted he is prepared to make tough choices to achieve a sweeping deficit-reduction deal in congress. speaking at the university of maryland, mr. obama insisted that the u.s. would meet its obligations. and returning to our top story, a massive explosion has ripped through norway's capital of oslo, leaving at least seven people dead. and a man dressed as a police
officer opened fire at a youth camp, killing at least 10. i am joined on the phone by a leading norwegian diplomat. how are people reacting to what has happened? >> i think they are shocked to an extent we have not seen since the second world war here. norway is a very peaceful place. first we had a bomb that was an enormous explosion. in must have had hundreds of kilos of explosives. our buildings and windows are shattered. then two and a half hours later, perhaps even more shocking to many, a man starts to kill
systematically labor use activists -- youth activists at a camp where the prime minister was supposed to visit this morning. the images on the television screen have been beyond belief for us. >> what possible motive could there be for this? >> there are many speculations, but everybody is very careful not to jump to conclusions. norway is a very small nation, very active, and it is in international operations from afghanistan to be at and what not. however, it could be a domestic issue. it could be a domestic terrorist. it could be anything. that is why the prime minister and all of us that are commenting have to stave with
the rule of law and not jump to any conclusions and not change our way of life, which is exactly what the terrorists want us to do. >> nonetheless, do you think this will change norwegian society? >> i fear it may. i hope not. but this very open and liberal democracy may have lost its innocence. it may lead to a lot of things. of course, all government buildings are without the bomb blast film. that is why many lives were lost because of the shattered window glass hitting them. that kind of thing we can take care of easily. will we change the society where politicians go among us, where we have a youth camp with the
beating liberal politician coming to discuss, is that over? i hope not. i know we can continue like we were despite these terror attacks. >> just briefly, does anyone have any history of homegrown -- does norway have any history of the homegrown extremism? >> not that much. we have some right-wing extremists and some left-wing extremists. and of course, that is a possibility, just as we all know that there are international groups, including al qaeda. >> thank you for joining us. that brings us to the end of today's broadcast. you can get constant updates on the attacks at our website. thank you for watching.
>> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. and union bank. ♪ >> union bank has put its financial strength to work for a wide range of companies, from small businesses to major corporations.